GMercyU Criminal Justice Grad John Davis

Meet John Davis

Criminal Justice, 2015

Current Position: Pennsylvania State Police Officer 

With an uncle and an older brother as police officers, John Davis was drawn to law enforcement as early as freshman year of high school. “I made a lot of decisions growing up based on the career field I wanted in my future,” he said.

John was recruited to play basketball at GMercyU, where he majored in Criminal Justice and served as a Resident Assistant during sophomore and junior year. He was so focused on his post-grad career that he even missed his own GMercyU graduation. 

“I had a police test the same time as graduation,” he explained.

After GMercyU, John worked odd jobs while taking more tests for various police departments before he received his acceptance letter from the Pennsylvania State Police. He started the State Police Academy in April 2016 and graduated six months later.

Below, John shares more about his GMercyU experience and his work today...

Why I Chose the GMercyU Criminal Justice Program

When deciding what college to attend, one huge aspect that caught my attention was that GMercyU offers the Municipal Police Academy (Act 120) as a semester of classes. To become a local police officer, you have to go through a six-month training – having it count as credits for your semester was great. There are not many schools who offer the academy as a semester of classes, so if you know you want to become a police officer, there is no better choice than GMercyU.

My GMercyU classes taught me how to listen to professors and take great notes for exams later in the semester. I use this everyday as a trooper, interacting with the public. I have to take notes when dealing with individuals so when I get a chance for investigation and to write the report, I have something to go back on and refresh my mind.

[Criminal Justice Program Director] Dr. Patrick McGrain challenged every one of his students with his classes and was a great professor who is passionate about what he teaches. He still keeps in contact with his students, and that shows how much he cares for them and their careers. “DOC” tells me about all the big things that are happening on campus and in the Criminal Justice Program that will only help students be more successful.

What It’s Like as a PA State Police Officer

After graduating from the academy in October 2016, I was sent to Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Philadelphia, where I worked in the patrol unit for two years patrolling the highways and interstates.

In October 2018, I transferred to the Frackville, Pa. barracks where I am still currently working. Today, I am a patrol trooper, so I am out in the public making traffic stops, investigating crimes and answering calls such as domestic assaults, thefts, and many others.

The state police is such a big police department, there is always opportunity for growth and promotion. There are many specialty positions in PSP that would be very interesting to do in the future.

Being on patrol for the state police, you are the first troopers to see and deal with everything. It is the greatest show on earth, there is never a dull moment being a patrol trooper.

My Advice to Future Grads

GMercyU taught me how hard work and determination can lead to great things, whether it’s in your personal life or your career.

My advice for future grads is to not give up. Keep going on interviews, keep taking tests, and keep applying for any position that interests you. These experiences are only going to help you in the future and get you that job you’ve always wanted. The more you do something, the better you get, so take every opportunity you can and make the most of it!